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30. Qin Poem
Included with shang mode but 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 2
琴詩 1
Qin Shi  
Original 1590 tablature (expand) 3         
This melody has no commentary other than a note under the title that says it can be played with any poem of four 7-character phrases. In this way its function (though the melody itself is unrelated) seems intended to be the same as the similarly titled Shi Yin (Intonation for Poetry) published in the 1573 Xinkan Zhengwen Duiyin Jieyao Qinpu Zhenchuan. This concept is discussed further in this essay as well as under Shi Yin itself).

This particular melody and its lyrics seem to survive in traditional handbooks only here, but a melody very similar to this can be found in the track called "Hearing someone play the flute one night in the town of Luo" (2.07) on a CD by Dong Hong (with accompanists) called The Sound Of The Soul - Music For Qin And Xiao. Details together with the Li Bai lyrics she uses are included here.

At first glance the lyrics here, which have no attribution, do not seem to fit the (7+7)x2 pattern, there being three extra characters (see below). Clearly, however, these are filler words that have been added according to the old custom of adding such words on the left hand technique 對起 duiqi, and thus are not included in the word count.

Original Preface4
None, but a note under the title says, "this melody can be played with any poem of four 7-character phrases."

Melody and Lyrics of Qin Poem (琴詩 Qin Shi) 5
Timing follows my recording

00.00 (Prelude: my arrangement of the melody into harmonics)
00.34 (Melody as written in Qinshu Daquan
清浄還生    自在香,   Qīng jìng hái shēng zì zài xiāng.
弄琴元是箇洗心方。   Nòng qín yuán shìgè xǐ xīn fāng.   ("箇 " is a filler word)
指間風雨縈三的疊,   Zhǐ jiān fēng yǔ yíng sānde dié,   ("的 de" is a filler word; 琴心三疊?)
窗外煙塵靜八也荒。   Chuāng wài yān chén jìng bāyě huāng.   ("也 " is a filler word)
01.08 (end)

Tentative translation:
Being clear and pure still allows one to be fragantly (calm),
Playing qin basically is a cleansing of heart method.
Within the fingers wind and rain encompass one's a threefold harmony,
Beyond the window fog and dust settle to reveal the vast surrounding vistas.

As mentioned, the melody for Intonation for Poetry (Shi Yin) is different but has a similar function.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Qin Poem (琴詩 Qin Shi)


2. Mode: "Shang (商調 shang diao)?
Although this piece is the last one in the shang mode section, its main tonal center is actually the equivalent of the open seventh (thus second) string. If the scale is treated as the standard Chinese pentatonic scale, 1 2 3 5 6 then this note is clearly 6 (la), so the actual tuning is played as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6, and the melody has all the characteristic of a yu mode melody (see Shenpin Yu Yi).

3. Image
Copied from QQJC IV/499.

4. Original text of note under title

Not yet recorded

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